30% rule

The 30% ruling is a Dutch tax exemption for employees who were hired from abroad to work in the Netherlands. Under the '30% rule', certain categories of international staff can receive approximately 30% of their gross salary tax-free. This is to compensate all extra costs they will have to make by living abroad, such as renting necessary temporary accommodation, etc.

Set of requirements

To be eligible to the 30% rule there are some requirements you need to meet:

  • You should have been recruited from abroad.
  • You should have lived at least further than 150 km from the Dutch border for at least 16 months from the last 2 years before you have arrived in the Netherlands.
  • You also need to have a paid employment by Delft University of Technology in a scientific position or meet the income criteria in case of a different position.
  • You might be eligible:
    - If you have finished your PhD in the Netherlands or within 150 km from the Dutch border and found a new job within a year.
    - In case you are already living in the Netherlands, but the centre of your life was outside the Netherlands.
  • In case you have used the 30% rule before and there is no gap for more than three months between the new and previous contracts.

Advantages 30% rule:

  • Paying less taxes and social premiums 
  • Getting an 30% net allowance on your salary
  • Changing driver’s license for a Dutch driver’s license less expensive

Disadvantages 30% rule:

  • Saving less for your pension
  • Receiving less holiday allowance and year-end bonus
  • All benefits will be based on the lower gross salary

 Term of the rule:

  • Maximum term of the rule is 8 years.
  • Earlier visits to the Netherlands in the 25 years prior to the appointment will be deducted from the 8-year term.

As of 1 January 2019 the maximum term will be shortened to 5 years. The new time limit will apply to new and also for existing beneficiaries of the 30% rule. 

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